Each fall, local organizations come together to lead over 100 events in ten days to celebrate the wide variety of outdoor adventures you can have in Northwest Indiana. The Indiana Dunes Outdoor Adventure Festival highlights the natural and cultural significance of the region through outdoor adventures like hiking, bicycling, paddling, birding, stargazing, yoga, and photography. This year's festival takes place Friday, September 8th through Sunday, September 17th with over 100 individual events. Check out this packed schedule!

OAF Outdoor Adventure Festival

Whether you're an experienced outdoor enthusiast looking for a new challenge or a novice eager to try something new, here's why you absolutely shouldn't miss this incredible event!

Diverse Adventures for All

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The Indiana Dunes Outdoor Adventure Festival caters to adventurers of every skill level and interest. From guided hikes through challenging trails to kayaking expeditions on tranquil waters, you'll find activities that suit your preferences. Whether you're an experienced outdoor enthusiast looking for a new challenge or a novice eager to try something new, there's something for everyone. The festival's diverse range of activities ensures that you can tailor your experience to match your comfort level and interests.

There are events for everyone including families, beginners, experts, and those with limited mobility. 

Family in a canoe on the Kankakee river

Expert-Led Outdoor Experiences

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Ranger and expert-led programs are great educational opportunities! There's no better way to enhance your outdoor adventures than with knowledge about the area you are in. Botanists, bird experts, geologists, national park rangers, and other experts will lead guided tours while sharing their expertise. 

Ranger-led Wildflower Hikes

100 Adventures over Ten Days

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Have we mentioned the schedule chock-full of outdoor adventures? Over 100 different events take place during the festival! Nighttime owl prowls, sunset photography sessions atop dunes, historical reenactments of fur trading posts, and horseback riding at the beach are just a few of the unique events scheduled. 

People sit atop horses on the beach at the edge of Lake Michigan. Sand dunes and trees are seen in the background. Industry is seen on the far horizon.

Duneland Fall Festival Celebration

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Chellberg Farm will host the family-friendly Duneland Fall Festival! The event will feature live music, entertainment, and demonstrations featuring farming skills from the time Chellberg was a working farm. The farm's cows, chickens, goats, and turkeys will welcome visitors. Wagon rides will be available for a suggested donation to Friends of the Indiana Dunes

A woman stands in a barn door, looking at a group of cows. The bottom half of the barn door is shut.

Leon's Obstacle Course Race

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Take part in an obstacle course on the trails of West Beach in the Indiana Dunes National Park! Leon's Obstacle Course will have 5k and 10k versions, including a race where canine companions are allowed. The event honors the U.S. military, veterans, injured veterans, first responders, and law enforcement.

Loop 1 West Beach Trail

Explore the Indiana Dunes in New Ways

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The Outdoor Adventure Festival is the perfect time to try a new outdoor activity! Park rangers and local experts lead hikes and paddles at locations all across the Indiana Dunes area. In just one day at the festival, you could learn about carnivorous plants in Pinhook Bog in the morning, practice beach yoga in the afternoon, and take a sunset photography class in the evening! Head over to the festival page for the full event schedule.



Unplug and Connect with Nature

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In a world dominated by screens and constant connectivity, the festival offers a rare excuse to unplug and immerse yourself in the natural world. The calming sound of the waves, the rustling of leaves, and the vibrant colors of the landscape create a soothing environment that allows you to recharge both physically and mentally. 

Whether you're looking to unplug for a few hours or have a week-long outdoor retreat, the festival's bite-sized mix-and-match event schedule allows you to customize your experience. 

A woman and teen hike in the dunes. The bright blue sky is behind them. Vegetation on dunes covers the ground.

Community and Connection

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The Indiana Dunes Outdoor Adventure Festival isn't just about exploring the outdoors; it's also a chance to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for adventure. Whether you're striking up a conversation during a guided hike, exchanging stories around a campfire, or collaborating on a family scavenger hunt, the festival fosters a sense of community that makes your experience all the more rewarding. You might just leave with new friends and lasting memories.

A group of four people stand together on a trail. They are looking at the camera, smiling. Woods are in the background

Remember to Leave No Trace and practice responsible outdoor recreation when attending the festival. By participating in this event, you're not only enjoying the outdoors but also contributing to the preservation of these beautiful natural spaces for future generations.

Indiana Dunes Love & Protect